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Rep. John Lewis and Alex Trebek have pancreatic cancer. What are symptoms, treatments?

MULTIZ321

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moonstone

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Pancreatic cancer is a horrible form of cancer. By the time it has been diagnosed it is usually stage 4. I have lost 5 friends in the last few years from it. All were women between the ages of 49 and 62. The longest one lived was 3 months, the shortest was 17 days from diagnosis.
A high-school friend just passed away at the beginning of Dec. She was originally being treated for a suspected ulcer. By the time she got a proper diagnosis, after the ulcer drugs didn't releive the pain, she lived for 7 weeks. :(
I hope a test for a much earlier detection is developed soon.

-Diane
 

pedro47

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How can a trained medical doctor misdiagnosed pancreatic cancer? Yes, I am very angry because this is happening to often IMHO.

in this case all were females in the prime of their lives.
49 to 62 years old.
 

Ralph Sir Edward

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There are no symptoms, that are unique to Pancreatic Cancer. There are no normal ways to screen for it. Virtually all the early stage cancers are caught by accident, via tests for other conditions. Until the last couple of years, is didn't matter. Even stage 1 discovery didn't increase the lifespan by much. (I stared down this barrel 3 years ago. I possibly had stage 1. The best treatment at the time - look up Whipple Surgery - increase the 5 year survival rate from 2% to 8% - and you had a 5-15% change of dying on the table. . . )

There is a new group of treatments that seem to be improving the results.
 

Ralph Sir Edward

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That is for the common type - adeomenal cancer. The rarer type is endocrinal cancel (the Steve Jobs type), which is much slower and takes 6-10 years to kill. (That type is in the endocrinal tissue of the pancreas. (The part that produces insulin, among other endocrinal proteins.)
 

Carol C

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Two really good guys. It saddens me. Is it perhaps because many men don't keep up with annual doctors' appointments? And in the case of these two very busy men, perhaps they were even more forgetful about doctor check-ups?

From search online just now...

Symptoms
  • Abdominal pain that radiates to your back.
  • Loss of appetite or unintended weight loss.
  • Yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice)
  • Light-colored stools.
  • Dark-colored urine.
  • Itchy skin.
  • New diagnosis of diabetes or existing diabetes that's becoming more difficult to control.
  • Blood clots.
 

Teresa

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My cousin - a woman in her early 40's died of pancreatic cancer. She went to about 20 different doctors over the course of several years - many who told her husband it must be 'in her head' (using a finger making circles by their heads) because they couldn't pinpoint the problem. She had unintended weight loss and, I'm sure, a few other symptoms. By the time she got to a doctor who diagnosed her, she lived about 6 weeks. My cousin was not the type of person to just 'accept' what the doctor said - thus the reason for so many different doctors. She left behind some high school and recently out of high school 'children' and a grieving husband. It's not a 'man thing' - it's mostly a 'doctor thing'. We were told (at the funeral) that my cousin didn't fit the 'profile' of a typical pancreatic cancer patient. Too young and wrong sex. So a zebra instead of a horse. Hmmmmmm
 

Luanne

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Probably because pancreatic cancer is not simple to diagnos...

George
My father was finally diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I don't think he ignored the symptoms he had, it's just that those symptoms could have been so many other things. By the time he was diagnosed he refused treatment as it wouldn't have extended his life y more than a few months, and he didn't want to suffer the side effects. He passed about 6 weeks after the diagnosis. This was 27 years ago.
 

Panina

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My childhood friends sister died of it in her 40’s, then my childhood friend got it in her 50’s and fortunately treatment worked for her and she is in remission. Because her sister died of it, she stood aware and the doctors didn’t ignore.
 
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On the other hand, several years ago, my father-in-law was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. At first, they said he would not leave the (Boston area) hospital alive. A week later, he walked out. He went on chemo, knowing that it would slow or stop it, it would not be a complete remission. He went into remission! In 2018, his oncologist found it had started back up, so they started chemo again (second time). In early 2009 while here in Florida (Orlando), a local oncologist wondered about it, so they did a biopsy. The type of PC he has can be killed (not just remission) by immunotherapy. The process was rough. He would shower the night before with antibiotic soap. The treatment day is like chemo, he would go in and it would be administered at the office (Medicare Part-B). Then, he had to go into isolation for 5 days, because the side effect was diminished immune system. Late last year, they found his cancer had shrunk (aka dying)!

Sadly, his wife (my wife's mom) died of an incurable/untreatable form of leukemia, so that stress may not help. He is coming down to Florida in a few weeks to see his oncologists.

TS
 

MULTIZ321

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Alex Trebek to Rep.John Lewis: Let's survive cancer in 2020.


.


Richard
 

geekette

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My cousin - a woman in her early 40's died of pancreatic cancer. She went to about 20 different doctors over the course of several years - many who told her husband it must be 'in her head' (using a finger making circles by their heads) because they couldn't pinpoint the problem. She had unintended weight loss and, I'm sure, a few other symptoms. By the time she got to a doctor who diagnosed her, she lived about 6 weeks. My cousin was not the type of person to just 'accept' what the doctor said - thus the reason for so many different doctors. She left behind some high school and recently out of high school 'children' and a grieving husband. It's not a 'man thing' - it's mostly a 'doctor thing'. We were told (at the funeral) that my cousin didn't fit the 'profile' of a typical pancreatic cancer patient. Too young and wrong sex. So a zebra instead of a horse. Hmmmmmm
I'm so sorry. That's so awful.

I think it is long history of ignoring women. Hysteria. Emotional at that time of the month, etc. Crazy fits that mold. I can't imagine being the spouse being told my sick and getting sicker wife instead has a mental problem. That's a doc worth reporting, and I'm guessing, male.

Haven't we found out that female heart attacks present differently? How many women got sent home while having a heart attack?

I also recently had to cruise through a lot of doctors to find some that would actually listen to me, hear me, and take it seriously. Indeed, a doctor problem.

Like so many others, I've lost people to this awful disease, too. The hard-to-diagnose stuff is truly scary.
 
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